Healthcare workers turned away from Marlins Park despite having appointments

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Confusion about the vaccine at some state-run sites continues. Now, healthcare workers tell Local 10 that they were turned away from Marlins Park after having appointments that were set up by the state’s scheduling system.

The issue is how staff on the ground is interpreting Florida’s version of an eligible healthcare worker. We heard two different versions from both state run sites. As you can imagine, people are confused.

Kim Waters-Koons, office manager at Dade Physical Therapy, said they have been open and caring for patients since the pandemic started.

“We have never missed a day,” she said.

The criteria listed on the Governor’s executive order for the first phase of vaccine distribution says that healthcare personnel with direct patient contact should get a vaccine.

Staff at Dade Physical Therapy are hands on and up close with their patients, so they wondered why they were turned away when they showed they had appointments at Marlins Park.

“Because people were abusing the system they are now stricter and only approving frontline healthcare workers such as EMTS and paramedics,” Waters-Koons said.

A supervisor at the Marlins Park site told Local 10 they were instructed by the state’s Division of Emergency Management to only vaccinate healthcare workers in contact with COVID-19 patients.

However at the Hard Rock, the other state run site in the county, a spokesperson told us that per their guidelines from the state any documented healthcare provider with patient contact can get a shot.

“Nobody knows who’s in charge, who to contact. I thought the easiest thing would be is for them to honor the appointments that they made,” Waters-Koons said.

RELATED: Miami-Dade COVID-19 vaccine pre-registration site is live

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